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By John W. Thornton

dmv issues, DUI arrest, Santa Cruz criminal lawyerYes, almost certainly. We have all had our issues with DMV, these compound in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. While there are some cases that do not result in DMV hassles, they are rare. What follows is but a few examples of what to expect.

First, let me explain the change in attitude at DMV since the "administrative per se laws" went into effect in 1990. It is best summarized by what can be found on the wall in the room in the Capitola DMV Office where DMV hearings are conducted. When I first began doing DMV hearings, there was a big sign that announced your rights as someone facing license discipline: the right to an attorney, to subpoena witnesses, right to testify, etc. After a few years, this notice was pushed aside and, in its place, was placed a notice regarding what charges you can expect for threatening the hearing officer (DMV judge). Now, there is a list of items for which you can be arrested for bringing into the hearing office (firearms, knives, mace, etc.).

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By John W. Thornton

mug shot, santa cruz dui lawyerThe fact that you were arrested, unless you are under 18, is a public record. Websites such as mugshotsantacruz.com post booking photos, and over the past few years many clients have reported hearing from friends, relatives, and co-workers that their booking photo was online.

Secondly, many attorneys pay services to obtain booking information so that they can direct mail you solicitations (I don't do this). Clients have reported receiving 8-10 letters in the mail from attorneys and insurance companies offering various services. If you don’t personally pick up your mail, whoever does will not need to be terribly intelligent to figure out that you have been in legal trouble. While this practice has been controversial, it happens.

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DUI, pulled over, Santa Cruz DUI lawyerYou are out for a night of celebrations. You got a big promotion at work and your friends have taken you out for a night on the town to celebrate. After several locations and innumerable drinks later–who knows how many, you had a designated driver–it comes time for everyone to go home. Yet, when you find your driver, he has been drinking all night too. He appears to be worse off than you are. You decide to be the hero and take everyone home yourself.  After a few miles, you see dreaded police lights in your rearview mirror. You are about to get pulled over with a high probability that it is DUI related. What do you do?

During the Traffic Stop

By the time the officer has brought you to a stop, a phone call has already been made to "call in" the stop. This lets the dispatcher know that the officer is busy, a vehicle description, and the reason for the stop. Typically, a cover officer will be dispatched to the scene for the safety and the security of the officer, but also a witness to all events. Although this is not a requirement, more and more police officers are using dash or body cams in their vehicles or on their person today. This can either help or hurt a case, so be aware that one may be recording your every move.

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Study Shows Attitudes Towards DUI Change After a Few Drinks

According to new research, people's attitudes towards driving under the influence of alcohol change after they have consumed two or more alcoholic beverages. Even people who normally find it very distasteful to drive under the influence of alcohol find that their attitudes are not so stringent when they are asked about it after having a few drinks.

The researchers measured the difference in attitudes towards DUI among subjects when they were sober, and after they had consumed a certain amount of alcohol. The vast difference in attitudes towards DUI among people when they were sober and when they were in an intoxicated state was very startling to the researchers.

According to the researchers, they did expect that drinking alcohol would soften people's attitudes towards driving under the influence of alcohol, because alcohol does tend to impair judgment abilities. People, who normally would never do anything stupid while sober, end up making surprisingly stupid decisions after a few drinks.

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I Have a High Alcohol Tolerance. Will I Be Arrested for DUI?

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to DUI is the belief that a person with a high alcohol tolerance will not be arrested for DUI. Your alcohol tolerance has actually nothing to do with your potential for a DUI arrest.

Some people have an enhanced tolerance for alcohol. That tolerance comes through years of drinking. Tolerance for alcohol however doesn’t impact your likelihood of being arrested for DUI. One person who has just had a couple of alcohol beverages could be very pleasantly buzzed. Another person, however, may have had a larger quantity of alcohol, and continues to drink because he doesn't feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol. The second person may be at a high risk of being arrested for DUI, because his blood alcohol concentration could have breached the .08% legally permissible level, because of the higher numbers of alcoholic beverages that he has consumed.

He could be arrested, even though he does not show any external signs of being intoxication. In other words, this person may not even have a “buzzed” feeling, may not have slurred speech, red eyes, or any of the other signs that people typically associate with intoxication.

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